Rabbitte speaks of 'unusual situation' on poll
The Government information campaign that the Supreme Court ruled clearly favoured the passage of the children’s referendum was based on “passionate conviction”, Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte has said.
In detailed judgments yesterday, all five judges agreed the Coalition campaign breached the McKenna principles requiring publicly funded information about a referendum be presented in a balanced way. Voters approved the amendment to the Constitution last month.
Mr Rabbitte last night said the judgments would be considered by Cabinet, and the Attorney General would advise Ministers on them.
“It’s an unusual situation that you elect a Government and the Government seems to be impeded from advocating its convictions in a matter like a referendum,” Mr Rabbitte said at an event in Liberty Hall last night. “But the Supreme Court has ruled and that’s the law of the land. The guidelines that they have set out must be implemented in future. It’s as simple as that.”
Dublin engineer Mark McCrystal, who took the challenge, said yesterday he believed “heads must roll” as a result of the “landmark” decision. “The Government is caught with their hand in the cookie jar,” he said.